Use of Mintzberg’s model of managerial roles to evaluate academic administrators

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Muma, Richard D.
Smith, Barbara S.
Somers, Patricia A.

Muma RD, Smith B, Somers PA. Use of Mintzberg’s model of managerial roles to evaluate academic administrators. Journal of Allied Health. 2006;35:65-74.


Quantitative and qualitative methods were used to measure the administrative activities of physician assistant (PA) department chairpersons as compared with Henry Mintzberg's model of managerial roles. The use of Mintzberg's model is unique in that it was developed from observations in the corporate setting but was applied here in an academic setting. Both PA department chairpersons (n = 77) and PA faculty (n = 94) identified Mintzberg's leader role as one that was used most by PA chairpersons and one that was viewed as most important as perceived by PA chairpersons and faculty. Both groups agreed that PA chairpersons were more concerned about functioning in the interpersonal realms of Mintzberg's managerial roles as opposed to the informational and decisional realms, and there was a great deal of unanimity about the perceived role use and importance of the roles in regard to the job of a PA chairperson. This finding was important according to Mintzberg's model because it is through leader role use that PA chairpersons can weld diverse elements into a cooperative enterprise (an important aspect of managing academic departments). Chairpersons and faculty were given the opportunity to identify other constructs not covered by Mintzberg's model in an effort to include other roles unique to PA education. Although a handful of roles were identified, when compared with Mintzberg's model, each one matched an existing role defined in the model. These data indicate that both chairpersons and faculty were in agreement with the way Mintzberg's model can describe PA chairperson roles.

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This work represents a portion of Dr. Muma’s doctoral dissertation.